Welsh Journals

Search over 450 titles and 1.2 million pages

ing footwear to a large area of mid-Wales. The foremost of these during 1841-71 was John Jones, the maternal great-grandfather of the author of this article, and the 1861 census records him as a master shoemaker employing twenty-seven men and five boys, the largest concern of its kind in the town. He and his family lived at 2 Great Darkgate Street, adjacent to the Gogerddan Arms Hotel. The publican of the Gogerddan Arms Hotel in 1841 was Abel Powell Davies, who, like his wife Margaret, was then forty years of age. They employed ten female servants varying in ages from fourteen to twenty-five years. They also employed two common labourers, a disagreeable description of an occupation, long since discontinued. Accommodated at the hotel at this time were eight visitors described as independent, one surgeon named Robert Buckle, aged thirty, and a collector of Excise, also named Robert Buckle, aged fifty. What the relationship was between the last two names, if any, is not known. It seems likely that the full name of the publican was as given, though the census simply records him as Powell Davies.13 Four of the visitors to the hotel came from Ireland. One of the first hairdressers recorded in the town was William Morgan who, in 1841, plied his trade in Little Darkgate Street. At that time he was listed as having eight children. Another hairdresser was John Jones, who lived in Great Darkgate Street. The town had seven printers in all at this time, one of whom was John Warrington, living in Great Darkgate Street with his wife, Char- lotte. Both were then twenty years old. Another inhabitant of Great Darkgate Street at this time was tailor, Evan Nightingale who lived with his wife, Anne, and their four children. As is the case with many other names appearing in this series of censuses, Nightingale is one which has been well-known in Aberystwyth for at least two hundred years. This phenomenon speaks volumes for the static nature of the com- munity over its long history. An Edward Nightingale, for instance, is known to have been keeper of the Shire Gaol in 1784, being described then as a yeoman.14 Doubtless many such old families have descend- ents still living in the town and district. As stated earlier, this part of the 1841 study narrative giving some account of interesting Aberystwyth characters could run on for many more pages, but space will not permit. Mention must be made, how- ever, of some of the Aberystwyth people with interests in the lead mining industry. Among these were Atwood, the Bonsalls, Lord Lisburne, the Pryse family, the irrespressible Job Sheldon, George Fossett (who came originally from London), Absalom Francis, James Green, Matthew Francis, Capt. James Raw, the Powells of Nanteos, Henry Francis, Lewis Pugh, Capt. Henry Ridge, Samuel Hughes, and others.